The Amur or Siberian Tiger has been critically endangered for a long time. The largest of all big cats this mighty tiger lives in some of the most remote and inhospitable terrain on earth and yet even this does not guarantee him safety from poachers. Brought back from the brink of extinction when numbers were down to only 40 animals this magnificent animal has fought back and defied the odds. The population has increased to more than 500 which is wonderful news. It's heartening to know they are surviving but it's always a fragile victory as humans find ever more ways to exploit the environment. Illegal logging poses one of the greatest threats to tigers. Mining exploration has opened up roads into and through the tigers habitat which attracts the illegal activity that threatens this amazing cats future. Some of killed on the roads others poached as man encroaches into this snowy cold terrain. The world would lose one of the most magnificent of all animals if we lose the Siberian tiger.
News that finally after 20 years a plan is underway to release captive bred Amur leopards into a protected habitat in Russia is most welcome. With only as few as around 60 of these magnificent animals left in the wild the only hope for their survival is a boost in the population which will also ensure genetic diversity. It would be a tragedy to lose such a beautiful wildcat from the world so it's heartening to know efforts are being made to save them. I love all cats but the elusive solitary Amur leopard is my personal favourite. How could anyone gaze at this animal and not be mesmerised.
Ongoing research and the development of a vaccine in the fight to save the Tasmanian Devil looks promising. This feisty little carnivore, Australia's last has been struggling to survive against the terrible facial tumors that have devastated populations and threatens their very existence. The tumors develop into large growths on their faces impacting on their ability to eat and function formally until many simply starve to death. Let's hope that that there is hope for this cranky little critter, that we can save this amazing little creature from extinction.
I like it that famous people use their profile to do some good for the natural world and this short film narrated by Julia Roberts really packs a punch.
Having long been a fan of the conservationists, photographers and film makers Derek & Beverly Joubert here they are again doing for wildlife. Raising money for the fight against poaching that is decimating Africa's iconic wildlife this couple have spent a lifetime raising awareness about the plight of lions and elephants living among the animals observing them first hand. Where would the wildlife be without people like them I wonder. Even more frightening is the prospect that despite their best efforts along with many others determined to save Africa's wildlife, is it too late ? Are the forces that drive the horrible trade in rhino horn and ivory too great to ever overcome. I sincerely hope not.